Frein Used Unsecured WiFi While Evading Police

He searched for 'how to escape a manhunt'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2014 2:51 AM CST
Frein Used WiFi While Evading Police
Eric Frein, charged with murdering one state trooper and critically wounding another, is taken to prison after a preliminary hearing in Pike County Courthouse on Oct. 31, 2014, in Milford, Pa.   (AP Photo/The Scranton Times-Tribune, Michael J. Mullen)

Eric Frein was a hunted fugitive in the woods of northeast Pennsylvania for nearly two months—but that didn't keep him off the Internet. Police say Frein has told them he used unprotected WiFi hot spots to get online, the AP reports. A laptop computer and two thumb drives were found in an abandoned aircraft hangar near where he was captured. It's not clear how he kept the computer charged, but open WiFi signals are easy to find outside homes in the search area, according to WNEP, which notes that Frein would have been able to access coverage of the manhunt and listen to police scanners. "I never really thought about it, leaving it open," one resident with unprotected WiFi tells the station.

A search warrant application for the laptop details searches Frein made going back to 2012, including "how to escape a manhunt," "can police track cell phone" and "ballistics trajectory calculator," CNN reports. Frein—who was placed in handcuffs belonging to the state trooper he allegedly killed—appeared with wounds on his face after his capture, and his sister says she doesn't believe the police when they say he hurt himself while hiding and nothing "inappropriate" happened during his arrest. "I think we all know for a fact he didn't get it in the woods," she tells Reuters, describing her older brother as "really smart" and saying it is "a little extreme" to seek the death penalty for him. "If anything he needs help," she says. (Read more Eric Frein stories.)

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